Indian biotech firms aid global players in drug discovery

by Dave

Business Standard

Indian biotechnology firms are steadily moving up the value chain by offering research and development (R&D) services for global pharma companies to aid drug discovery and manufacture.

Companies are offering services in drug discovery and validation based on pathway analysis (that is, analysis of how toxic or radioactive substances reach humans), genomics (study of gene sequences in living organisms), proteomics (large-scale study of proteins) and translational research (clinical investigation with human patients or volunteers).

“These specialised teams are led by scientists of Indian origin, who have returned from the West following long stints in this field. They have set up their own companies or have joined existing firms here,” said Joseph Manoj Victor, senior research analyst-healthcare, Frost and Sullivan.

Pharma companies across the world, which are suffering from a research drought, see these India-based services as complementing their outsourcing model. They are, therefore, entering into partnerships, involving significant cost arbitrage and quick turnaround time.

“The opportunities provided by the Indian biotech compnaies have compelled global pharma firms to take the partnerships to the next level. They sign co-development agreements, under which the Indian companies will take a drug through the pre-clinical and clinical development stages, and will be paid on milestones achieved and will also be given a share of revenues,” Victor said.